Thursday, August 03, 2006

Citation Wiki?

I was recently discussing with Chris Weimer the possibility of working on a "Wiki" for references pertaining to Biblical studies and general antiquities. Such databases already exist, of course, perhaps most notably in the form of the ATLA Database. However, as one living in the information age, it seems to me that these sorts of resources should be 1) Free, and 2) Exploiting the intelligence of their users.

Since compiling any sort of meaningful reference database would be a massive undertaking for one or two people, the suggestion of a "wiki" format (raised by Chris) seems to make sense. However, such a thing would be contingent on the willingness of those who might use it to both share their knowledge, and help improve the project.

Since my readership, presumably, consists of people who would use such a thing, I've posted a poll (on the right) where readers who are so inclined can vote on their own interest in either seeing or contributing to such a project. In true dilettante fashion, I'll then show that there's nothing more dangerous than an amateur with statistics based on insufficient samples by offering broad conclusions based on few responses. Or maybe not. We'll see how it goes.


Stephen C. Carlson said...

I've found that the Theoldi database is a pretty good, freely available source for citations in critical biblical scholarship.

Rick Sumner said...

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the link, I hadn't come across it before, definitely a good resource. I think me and Chris (though I'll have to double check with him on this) would still want to go ahead, though, if only for the absence of abstracts on Theoldi. Sometimes a title can leave a lot of ambiguity on its own.

That said, I might contact them (again, pending contact with Chris) to see if they'd be interested in some sort of collaborative effort. Thanks again for the link

Chris Weimer said...

Hey Rick,

Theoldi is indeed a great resource for biblical citations, but not for general antiquity. Were you still interested in including that part, or were you focusing mostly on Biblical Scholarship?

Rick Sumner said...

Hi Chris,

I'd definitely still be interested in including it, but I'd largely have to follow your lead on it--other than some better known sources, my knowledge of journals relating to general antiquities is pretty slim.

Chris Weimer said...


Great! I'll write up a blogpost sometime soon for plans. Do you have access to JSTOR? It's the best place to start.

best regards,


Peter Kirby said...

Is there any way that this can be automatically generated instead of keyboard-powered? Can't we get feeds of the latest articles with abstracts from the publishers, or can't we scan other secondary literature for the references to these articles? We could then reserve the keyboard power for quality control instead of mere data entry.

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